Has it ever crossed your mind that you may be a carer? Do you look after a family member, partner or friend who needs help because of illness, frailty, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction? Could they cope without your support?
Frequently we go about our daily life and, because the person we care for is someone close to us, we don’t consider ourselves a carer.
We may have suddenly found ourselves caring following an illness or accident or it may be something that has crept up over time as someone has become older or less mobile. We may care for just a few hours a week or we may be providing round the clock care.
It doesn’t matter what the circumstances, 3 in 5 of us are either already caring for someone or will become a carer in our lifetime.
So why does that matter? It matters to us because we know that carers often forget to look after themselves. Or, if they don’t forget, they don’t have time.
They juggle appointments, visits, mealtimes, dressing, washing, finances, often looking after other family members and working all at the same time. It can be exhausting, and we know that carers are more likely to suffer issues with their own health as a result of their caring role.
Their physical health may suffer through lifting, pushing, carrying or illnesses they themselves suffer. Likewise, their mental health may suffer through anxiety, stress, worry or depression. Even people that consider themselves the strongest can find that, despite its many rewards, caring takes its toll.
And when it does, the impact on the carer, the person they care for, and other family or friends can be immense.
It is for this reason that today we welcome Bolton Carers Support as one of our associate charities. They work hard to identify carers, to connect with them and to make them aware of the support that is available for them.
They have a 24/7 helpline and information service; offer courses, activities and trips to give carers a short break; can provide a volunteer ‘sitter’; have a Benefits Advice Worker; run outreach and drop-in sessions across the borough; deliver information sessions in GP surgeries and other community venues and have a dedicated volunteer development worker who helps carers to progress their skills through training and personal development opportunities.
They have been here for over 25 years, offering support to any carer in Bolton aged eighteen or over, and everything they do is centred around what carers tell them they want and need, so you can be sure that, if you are a carer, there will be something they do that may be useful to you!
They are a charity and work very hard to raise money to ensure that they can sustain the support to carers in Bolton.
Despite this, enrolling with them is free of charge and gives you access to the whole range of services.
If you, or someone you know, are a carer, contact them on the details shown below and they will be behind you whenever you need that bit of support.
Telephone: 01204 363056